The Ice Cream Truck That Started it All

We’re highlighting small businesses from around the country as nominated by you, our readers. If your favorite small business is using Twitter to communicate with customers, let us know about it @fbsmallbiz with the hashtag #mysbc, and it may be featured as an upcoming Small Business Spotlight.

Small Business Spotlight: The Dover Group

Who: Butch Yamali, @dovercaterers

What: Food service, catering, vending and ice cream products

When: Late 1980s

Where: Plainview, N.Y.

How: Butch Yamali bought a single ice cream truck and operated it under the name Carnival Ice Cream. His business expanded to become the largest distributor of Good Humor products in Nassau County, Long Island. Yamali then sought new business opportunities, including vending machines, concession stands, catering and college campus food courts.

Quick Snack Vending and Carnival Ice Cream are now divisions of The Dover Group. Yamali also purchased the Coral House, a restaurant and catering venue in Baldwin, N.Y., and the MaliBlue Beach Club in Lido Beach, N.Y.

Yamali said hiring at The Dover Group has stalled because of political uncertainty and Hurricane Sandy.

“We are in a wait and see mode. We initially were waiting to see who would win the elections before we decided on what to do and how many to hire,” Yamali said. “Now two things are still affecting us—the new healthcare bill which will go into effect.  How will that work?  How much will it cost us?  How many people we can hire?

“The second thing is recovering from Superstorm Sandy. One of our catering halls, the Sands, was severely damaged by the storm, so we will have to wait and see how things will play out with that.   With that said, we are still looking to hire for the holiday season, but we just don't know how many.”

Quote from the owner: “The business was doing very well until Hurricane Sandy but we are working to get things back to normal.”